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‘My favorite part about summer is bike camp’: Bike for Life Camp teaches people of all ages how to ride a bike

(Update: Adding video, comments from student volunteers, Redmond School District)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- This week at Elton Gregory Middle School in Redmond, a nonprofit is teaching people of all ages how to ride a bike.

Bike for Life Camp is a five-day camp where anyone 5 and older can learn how to ride a bikes in a safe and fun environment. It's back for its 11th year, through the nonprofit Central Oregon Disability Support Network.

"My favorite part about summer is bike camp," Molly Neilsen, a third-grader at Tom Mccall Elementary School, said Tuesday.

An extra challenge this week: a record heat wave. With temperatures in the triple digits in Redmond this week, Amy Nickell, a Redmond special education teacher, says making sure to stay cool and hydrated is key. 

Sometimes, campers are even practicing inside the school, to stay safe. 

Nickell said, "One of our biggest things is safety, obviously, giving the riders an opportunity to have fun while learning a skill that otherwise could be - kind of make them anxious or uncomfortable for them."

One volunteer thinks keeping a safe space is needed, as learning to ride on two wheels can be scary.

Student volunteer Tatum Aeschliman said, "I think it's really impactful to the kids, and just let them be able to come out here and just have fun and be them."

Tatum says he has already seen success teaching his student, Ella, how to ride a bike. 

"I've been with Ella, and she at first, so last year she kind of fell, and she came in here with a little bit of anxiety. At the beginning, she was a little hesitant. Then we kind of got her going, and now she's almost riding completely by herself - just having a blast!"

 The nonprofit has 15 student volunteers, giving their week to teaching others how to ride a bike.

Nickell said, "It's been a huge blessing to be able to work with Central Oregon Disability Support Network and having them be able to do this bike camp, because we couldn't do it without them."

The nonprofit's mission is to connect families with resources, and promote and value diversity in a welcoming community.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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